Palace slams door on Rappler reporter | Inquirer News

Palace slams door on Rappler reporter

/ 07:09 AM February 21, 2018

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque –INQUIRER PHOTO/JOAN BONDOC

Rappler reporter Pia Ranada has been initially barred from entering Malacañang to cover the President and later restricted to a designated area in the wake of complaints from top officials that the news website produced “fake news.”

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the issue with Rappler was not about “unsavory reporting,” but about “fake news.”


Ranada said she learned from the Palace’s internal house affairs chief that it was President Duterte himself who ordered her barred from the premises.


“Order was given at midnight,” said Ranada in a tweet.

Which is which?

In a noontime press briefing, Roque quoted Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea as saying that Rappler could still cover Malacañang while it appealed the order of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoking its registration for being foreign-owned.

Medialdea’s position was that unless the Court of Appeals issued a temporary restraining order against the SEC ruling. “Rappler’s accreditation with the Malacañang Press Corps has accordingly ceased,” he said.

But in a statement later, Deputy Executive Secretary Menardo Guevarra said there might have been a miscommunication with Roque.

Keep off Mr. Duterte


Ranada was allowed to enter the New Executive Building in the Palace complex, which houses the office of the Malacañang Press Corps.

But in the afternoon, she was barred from entering the Palace to cover the President’s event with Indian businessmen.

Initially, security officer Marc Cempron stopped Ranada at Gate 2 of the complex on Tuesday morning.

Cempron said there was an order to prevent Ranada from entering the compound. He did not say who gave the order.

But Roque said there was no violation of press freedom in this case. He said Ranada was able to attend his press briefing.


The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines on Tuesday slammed Malacañang for the ban, saying it sent a “clear and chilling signal” to journalists.

“Its action recalls the dark memories of martial law,” said Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Liberal Party president.

In Davao City, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the barring of Ranada from Malacañang by the Presidential Security Group (PSG) was something with Rappler’s problem with the SEC.

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Andanar said there was an “order” to the PSG although he did not know who gave it. —With reports from Jhesset Enano, Jocelyn R. Uy and Allan Nawal

TAGS: fake news, Harry Roque, Pia Rañada, press freedom, Rappler, Rodrigo Duterte

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